MLK Jr. Way – 7th to 20th St Bike Lanes

On June 16, 2021, OakDOT staff Emily Ehlers emailed the BPAC Infrastructure Committee, sharing the 95% plan set for a repaving and road diet project on Martin Luther King Jr. Way from 7th Street to 20th Street, just west of Downtown. Robert Prinz, Brendan Pittman, and Dianne Yee reviewed the plans and submitted comments, mainly concerning upgrading curb ramps and potentially adding painted bulb-outs.

We received a small Affordable Housing Sustainable Communities (AHSC) grant to repave MLK, Jr. Way from 20th Street to 7th Street, reallocating space for motorists to space for people biking. Given the size of the grant, there isn’t much flexibility in the scope. I’ve attached the plans for your review, but please let me know if you’d appreciate a formal review of the plans at an upcoming BPAC Infrastructure Sub-committee meeting.

My colleagues, Nigel Brown and Colin Piethe, have been leading outreach. We’ve sent mailers to all the residents and businesses on and near the corridor and walked the corridor twice chatting with passersby, business owners, and residents. Today we also reached out to the two Neighborhood Councils in the area. This segment of MLK, Jr. Way is relatively quiet and hasn’t generated any pushback to or enthusiasm for the bike lanes and road diet, at least to-date. If you have suggestions for other outreach strategies, please let us know.

Emily Ehlers, OakDOT Planning and Project Development Manager

Draft 95% Plans

3 thoughts on “MLK Jr. Way – 7th to 20th St Bike Lanes

  1. I know this post is old, but I’m reaching out because OakDOT has been pretty horrible to lower MLK residents about the road diet. I’ve been a resident of this community for 15 years. Outreach on this project has been abysmal to none. There are no posted flyers, nothing on Nextdoor, and no updates on the city website besides “Construction early 2022”. Almost no one knows anything about the road diet in the area of the project. MLK from 7th to 20th is not quiet, and at night it’s common to see a driver going twice the speed limit coming off SPA, and unfortunately, drivers blow through multiple red lights without slowing down. I’ve witnessed two massive crashes along this segment of MLK where drivers blew through multiple red lights before clipping someone. The one thing that would prevent this is parking-protected bike lanes. There is only one block with existing bulb-outs to remove. The fire station can easily use the mega-wide 17th St and car sewer Castro St to get to farther out calls. I just don’t understand why BPAC would advocate for double parking “bike” lanes when Jefferson St “bike” lanes are always blocked by double-parked drivers. Non-protected bike lanes just allow the worst drivers to either double park or speed past slower traffic. PARKING-PROTECTED BIKE LANES OR BUST!


    1. Hi Matt, thanks for your comment. Feel free to contact eehlers@oaklandca[dot]gov directly, and we can also ask staff for an update.


      1. Here’s the current Project MLK status from OakDOT, “This project is tied to several different local and Federal funding sources, and unfortunately some of those grant timelines are changing as we are requesting extensions.” What does that really mean? It sounds some piece of the puzzle fell apart and we’re going to lose funding for the entire project. MLK through downtown was first targeted for a road diet in 2009, to break ground in 2012! Connecting close to a 1/3 of the city to the waterfront via parking protected bikes lane should be a top priority, vs a never priority.


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